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Reuters World News Highlights at 0430 GMT, Jan 10

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Jan 10 (Reuters) - TOP STORIES

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CAIRO/BEIRUT - The U.N. peace envoy for Syria said on Wednesday that Bashar al-Assad could have no place in a transitional government to end civil war, the closest he has come to calling directly for the embattled president to quit.

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary, choosing a budget expert and close confidant to spearhead tough fiscal fights with Congress over the U.S. deficit.

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CAIRO/GAZA - An Egyptian official said the leaders of the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions had agreed at talks in Cairo on Wednesday to implement a long-delayed reconciliation pact, although it was unclear if the deal would extend beyond holding more talks.

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GUANGZHOU, China - The latest issue of a Chinese newspaper at the centre of anti-censorship protests appeared on newsstands in Beijing and Shanghai on Thursday as usual, but not its home city Guangzhou.

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SURAT, India - Turning a single Indian state with a long tradition of entrepreneurship and a solid political majority into an investor-friendly economic powerhouse is one thing. Replicating that across the nation may be a tougher prospect for Narendra Modi.

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JAMMU, India - India denounced Pakistan on Wednesday over a firefight in the disputed territory of Kashmir in which two Indian soldiers were killed, but the nuclear-armed rivals both appeared determined to prevent the clash escalating into a full diplomatic crisis.

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KABUL - Afghan lawmakers said on Wednesday disaster and civil war would follow if Washington pushed ahead with a suggestion to withdraw all its troops from the country after 2014.

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CARACAS - Venezuela's top court endorsed the postponement of Hugo Chavez's inauguration this week and ruled on Wednesday that the cancer-stricken president and his deputy would continue in their roles, despite a cacophony of opposition complaints.

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ROME - Silvio Berlusconi has little chance of destabilising a centre-left government after Italy's February election and outgoing premier Mario Monti is the most likely to become kingmaker, one of Italy's top experts on voting trends said on Wednesday.

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NEW YORK - A high-speed commuter ferry carrying hundreds of passengers crashed into a pier near Wall Street during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, injuring 57 people, one critically, authorities said.

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WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday the White House is determined to act quickly to curb gun violence and will explore all avenues - including executive orders that would not require approval by Congress - to try to prevent incidents like last month's massacre at a Connecticut school.

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BOSTON - With flu cases in this city up tenfold from last year, the mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency on Wednesday as authorities around the United States scrambled to cope with a rising number of patients.

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NEW DELHI - Comments by an Indian spiritual leader that a gang-rape victim shared blame for her assault disgusted many in a country shaken by the crime, but his view represents a deep streak of chauvinism shared by a broad swathe of a society in transition.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130110/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-0430-gmt-jan-10